Going Up In The World?

As I might have mentioned earlier, The Chelsea Blog was voted the Best New Blog in this year’s Soccerlens awards.

And as if that wasn’t good enough, there’s more because thanks to Soccerlens, The Chelsea Blog has had a mention on ITV.com. All a bit exciting really and I’ll be preparing a speech if this carries on 🙂

I’ll give you all a mention if you hang around!

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Chelsea 1-1 West Ham: Video Highlights

CHELSEA 1-1 WEST HAM

Ok, so yet again it wasn’t the most inspiring game at Stamford Bridge but you can watch highlights here.

Awards For This Year…….

The Chelsea Blog has picked up the award for the Best New Football Blog of 2008 by Soccerlens. Bloody stunned if I’m honest but it’s official – some of you must like what you’ve read this year.

I’ll keep it up if you all do.

 

Thanks to all who voted, hope you all stick around for the next year.

Are Cole Rumours A Concern For Chelsea?

We’ve had rumours about possible moves for Joe Cole before, notably Villa and Liverpool in the summer although fortunately they were no more than that. But somehow the latest rumours worry me a little more.

This time, it’s Spurs with an interest in Joe Cole and that bothers me for a few reasons. Firstly there’s the Redknapp thing. Harry Redknapp is more than a little keen on Cole and they know each other well what with it being Redknapp who gave Cole his debut at West Ham. Then there’s the fact that Cole would be valued highly by his former boss – something he’s always had to fight for at Chelsea.

Add to that the fact that Redknapp knows that come the summer, Joe Cole will have just a year left on his contract thanks to Chelsea’s delay in holding talks, and these reports aren’t weighing heavily in Chelsea’s favour. Not only that, but with Cole apparently only being on around £70,000 a week at Chelsea – hardly an amount comparable with the big earners around him – he could even get a pay rise into the bargain.

And here’s what a Spurs source has to say about the whole thing “Harry loves the way Joe plays and can’t believe Chelsea are running the risk of losing him. It is behind the striker where Harry sees him for Spurs — given a licence to thrill.”

I know Cole has previously said he was happy for the talks to be put on hold because his priority was playing for Chelsea but I can’t help hoping the club get their act together over a contract just in case.

Change Of Formation Needed At Stamford Bridge?

Our home form is doing my head in but what’s more annoying than not being able to get a win at home is the fact that Scolari doesn’t have a clue what to do about it.

With just three wins from nine at home now, including another draw at home to West Ham yesterday, Scolari admitted “Yes it’s difficult. When we play here it is different than when we play away.  Away we have more space and we play more with the ball, maybe we are now thinking ‘this is not our home’ and we are not scoring goals, I don’t know what is happening.”

Er hello! Change of formation maybe?

For a start he left Drogba on the bench yesterday and went for a 4-5-1 when that hasn’t worked at home this season. I’m not suggesting he drop Anelka either because to be fair, he’s totally earnt his place but the point is, Anelka does better in the games away from home because he relies on his pace. Away from home we’re up against teams who have to give us a bit of a game, so it’s faster, more open football and that suits Anelka. At home though, probably because of ‘that record’ the opposition have learnt how to play us, they put men behind the ball and shut us out. That’s where Drogba’s strength and physical presence are a must. Ok, we might have to revert to the ball over the top, but if it works, so what?

Whilst we’re on the subject of Anelka, where did he play most of his games last season and how effective was it? Yep, slung out wide with his chin dragging along the floor because he hated it and no wonder – he isn’t as good there, he’s not a wide player so why play him there?

On the second half yesterday even Scolari admits it didn’t work, stating “With [both Drogba and Anelka] yes, but also before because when they come on I lose my middle.” And yet he goes on to say “We need to train with that system a lot more because when we only have two forwards and one winger like today I play a genuine 4-3-3 for the second half [with Joe Cole used as a striker], but lose my middle – so it is difficult for me.”

So what’s wrong with 4-4-2 at home? Worth a try surely?

Kalou and Malouda are useless, so we’d have to rely on Bosingwa and Ashley Cole to do the business up and down the wings. Keep Mikel in front of the back four – for me he’s doing a steady job there this season. Then it’s a diamond formation with Ballack and Lampard either side and Joe Cole sitting behind Drogba and Anelka. I wouldn’t even bother with Deco in these home games unless Joey’s injured because he just doesn’t look up to it to me.

Defensively, we really need Ricardo Carvalho back because there’s no doubt about it, we’re weaker without him and god knows we’ve missed Essien this season. But for now at least, Scolari needs to address this run of bad form at home and sticking with formations that aren’t working isn’t the way to do it.

Your thoughts?

More Points Dropped At Home

CHELSEA 1-1 WEST HAM

So, another home game, another draw. Little consolation Liverpool, United and Arsenal all drawing if we fail to capitalise against West Ham.

I actually thought we started ok. Fair play to West Ham for not bringing the bus with them but Bellamy’s first half goal on the break was against the run of play. Were there a couple of handballs in there? Well, I wouldn’t like to see either of them given against us so I’d have to say no.

So what else stood out in the first half? Well, as ever we dominated in possession but did very little with it thanks largely to Scott Parker breaking up just about everything we tried to put together. John Terry was limping about way too early in the game for comfort after a knock on the ankle although it was the poke in the eye from Carlton Cole that seemed to trouble him more. Mike Riley, it has to be said, seems to turn into a tourette’s victim the minute he’s given a yellow card to play with because he was waving it about furiously at anyone who moved – which I guess could’ve explained Michael Ballack’s lack of movement.

The second half saw Didier Drogba on for Michael Ballack and his impact definitely troubled West Ham, with Anelka scoring his 100th Premier League goal within minutes of the Ivorian’s arrival. Mikel, for me our best player, worked his arse off again both helping out a ragged defence and giving the midfield a starting point to push on from. And yet, West Ham’s defensive play continued to stop that push from coming.

The second half also saw Kalou coming on for Joe Cole, although Scolari might as well bring my mother off the bench as Kalou considering Cole wasn’t doing a lot wrong anyway. Belletti came on for Mikel, who also didn’t warrant subbing although clearly Scolari was going all out to attack by this time. Again, it didn’t work against a resolute West Ham. As for Lampard’s penalty shout, well clearly there was contact and Neill admitted as much after the game but he went down a little too hard and maybe a little too late to convince Riley.

So that’s 14 points dropped at home already this season and certainly not title winning form.

 

TEAMS

CHELSEA: Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, A Cole, Mikel (Belletti 80), Deco, Ballack (Drogba 46), Lampard, J Cole (Kalou 74), Anelka

Subs Not Used: Hilario, Ivanovic, Bridge, Ferreira

WEST HAM: Green, Neill, Upson, Davenport, Ilunga, Collison (Boa Morte 87), Parker, Noble (Mullins 72), Behrami, Bellamy (Di Michele 90), Cole

Subs Not Used: Lastuvka, Faubert, Tristan, Sears

 

Chelsea scorer: Anelka 51

West Ham scorer: Bellamy 33